He Called Me A Zionist
A French imam known for promoting Jewish-Muslim relations said he was physically assaulted in Tunisia by a man who called him a “Zionist.”
Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy near Paris, said he was punched in the chest and shoved to the ground on Sunday near the Hotel Gammarth near Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.
“He insulted me, called me a ‘Zionist and collaborator’ and then he hit me,” Chalghoumi was quoted Monday as telling the Le Parisien daily.
Chalghoumi was assaulted in front of his wife and children, who also were hit by the unnamed attacker, the report said. The imam was taken to the hospital, according to the French news agency AFP. Neither he nor his family members sustained serious injuries.
According to the report, hotel staffers detained the man, who addressed Chalghoumi in French, before he was arrested by police.
Chalghoumi, who is well known in France for his involvement in interfaith forums and initiatives, has received many death threats in France for his friendly ties with CRIF, the umbrella group representing French Jewish communities, and for visiting Israel several times. Read more
Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy, said he was assaulted in Tunisia
He claims to have been severely beaten and insulted by a man because of its proximity to the Jewish community. Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy (Seine-Saint-Denis), denounced the attack on Sunday night and his family near Tunis (Tunisia). According to Imam, widely publicized in France because of his stance , his assailant followed him as he returned on Sunday with his wife and two of their children their hotel in Gammarth, where they are on vacation.
"He insulted me, called me a" Zionist " a" collaborator ". He gave me a punch in the heart. Within seconds, he put me down, "he told the imam, target of harsh criticism, relayed over the internet , for his stance against the burqa and against pro-Palestinian demonstrations of friendship and its relationship with the Jewish community. He said the assailant, who spoke to him in French, also attacked his wife and his children, who were beaten before the man is controlled by the security of the hotel and arrested by police. "It's a real shock," said the imam.
In France, the imam of Drancy is protected by police
Hassen Chalghoumi, which was released Sunday night, and his relatives, the hospital where they were treated, said the French Minister of the Interior, Manuel Valls had called and "asked about him." The Embassy of France in Tunis said not to be informed of the attack in Gammarth.Usually escorted by France Protection Service VIPs (HPPD), Hassen Chalghoumi explained that the police could follow during its holiday as "Tunisia did not want them entering (in the country) armed." Pertussis media but violent attacks and threats from Muslim fundamentalists , the imam 40 years, born in Tunisia to Algerian parents, was explained in February have already filed a thirty complaints. In Tunisia, "an imam had warned me that my photo circulating around on Facebook and told me to be careful," again said Hassen Chalghoumi, who announced his return to France on Monday.